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646 Ratings

The Butler

Lee Daniels' The Butler

Directed by Lee Daniels
United States, 2013
Drama, Biography


As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man’s life, family, and American society.

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The Butler Directed by Lee Daniels

Awards & Festivals

Village Voice Film Poll

2013 | Nominee: Best Supporting Actress

BAFTA Awards

2014 | 2 nominations including: Best Supporting Actress

Screen Actors Guild Awards

2014 | 3 nominations including: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

2014 | Winner: Montecito Award

There’s an essential power to its forthrightly political-historical remediation, even if the way it goes about that is unapologetically broad and ham-handed. In other words, the world may not have needed a history of twentieth-century African-American culture with the general simplifying and narrative flattening of Forrest Gump, but it does need historical dramas from a black point of view.
November 25, 2013
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The idea of the butler as a trojan horse for social change is a compelling one, given the historical association of the role with passivity and compliance. Yet this tricky, complex film — a moral conundrum cloaked inside the buttery, soft-focus sheen of the classical Hollywood biopic — never fully throws its weight behind that viewpoint.
November 14, 2013
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The minutiae of daily life and the haunting psychic recesses are all inseparable from the exercise of government power—and “The Butler” has the remarkable effect of making that power appear visible, as if the very air we breathe were suddenly given a tint.
August 24, 2013
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